Southern Plains Bison Pointers Sept 2018

How Do ‘They’ Look? There is a term in animal husbandry called ‘an eye’ or the ‘eye of the stockman’ in farming and ranching. The term simply refers to changes, or judgments of herd and animal health that are visible. I help many different types of folks from a wide range of backgrounds with their … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Aug 2018

‘There’s Somethin’ Happening Here’ Please forgive my artistic flair and the all to often song reference, but fall is the time when we are caught off guard, and absolutely the time of year that is the most important to pay the ‘attention due’ to your herd-health and garner higher production as a result. Nutrition is … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers July 2018

In July, and August, we need to focus on breeding season ‘awareness’.  April and May calves are conceived in August and September. The gestation period for bison is 270 days to 300 days for an average gestation of 285 days.  The southern plains will also likely continue the breeding season beyond September to late November … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers April 2018

They’re here!  It’s raining red-dots (again) and anyone blessed by the scene that does not find themselves smitten with the colors of the southern plains in spring, should consider having something checked. It is a brilliant combination of reds, purples, blues, browns and sable that only unfolds for folks raising native-grazers, as opposed to our … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Dec 2017

Funky Fall = Management Curve Ball The southern plains can be lush and green this time of year for those that get busy in the fall with planting winter feed and providing a normally very happy November for their herds. I always say that the buffalo in the Dakotas surely must pace the fence this … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Nov 2017

What ‘the heck’ happening Out There! This is a normal question in the southern plains this time of year. Everything has been so green and the bison living has been easy all summer long. All at once the rain stopped, and just in time to stop the growth of planted winter feed and/or native cool season plants. … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Oct 2017

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Oct 2017 Bizy-bizy-bizy! November is fast and busy with the business of planning for winter, marketing, and herd health management strategies. If you missed the fall planting season in the southern plains, you will need to plan for hay and other nutritional supplementation for bison herds. If you (did) plant during … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers September 2017

Southern Plains Bison Pointers September 2017 You Ready? Fall is here. Summer is gone, and we won’t know which old-man-winter (we get) until we are right in the middle of it. The Southern Plains can be wildly different than the northern regions as far as planning and caring for our bison. I always comedically contend; … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers-Aug 2017

Water Worming 2017 has dealt us an interesting August.  We’ve seen rain and relatively cooler ‘dawg-day’ temperatures intermittently. The grass is jumping, and out-running the herds, and the livin’ is easy. This has also made for an interesting southern plains summer in other regards. The plant community has become atypical. So you might be asking … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers July 2017

The ‘Dawg-Days’ and ‘Hands Off Help’… Well, it ain’t very cold out there, and this time of year is always the hardest for Texas & Southern Plains Bison. Our charge as humans is to plan accordingly and provide the bison with the ability to be resilient and get through all the aspects of their doin’s, … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers June 2017

The heat lamp is on which means everything changes for our herds. One of the things that changes is decisions we make about animal-ops and how we consider their well being affected by the ambient temperature.  When the heat rises so does stress, and that leads to additional ‘weakness’, or reduced resilience. This means we … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers May 2017

  Everything is changing and throughout the month of June, southern grasslands and prairies will go through 3 stages that effect herd health. While up north the first green up is just now in full swing, in the south we are at the end of the first growing season and in ‘green up’ of second … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers April 2017

Calving Season Tips & Texas Bison Week Tis the season to be cautious and reject the human tendency to over attend nature. That’s easy to say, but hard to do with your money on the table and your compassion for the animals turned up to high trying to be a good care taker. Personally; I … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers March 2017

Calving season has begun and if your are among the blessed living history ‘with bison’, there’s nothing like the colors of spring and early summer made more brilliant with a newborn crop of sable American icons alongside their brown mothers. As caring stewards, we try and prepare for the worst during calving season, but with … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Jan 2017

Green-ups -a -commin! And – quick! Most regions in the southern plains are breaking over into a lush state of pasture and range conditions, while the high plains will take a bit longer. Many herds are now in the process of working herds and preparing to balance their AU’s to the land. Because of our … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Sept 2016

The southern plains have experienced an unprecedented summer with perfect rains and lots of forage. Normally this time of year is marked by brown fields and ‘dusting in’ fall crops. This year, we are looking for dry spots to be able to get into the field. If you have been under stocked during this cycle, … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers August 2016

Looking Out for Them Southern plains bison have been blessed this year with unusual rains in the dog days of summer and lots and lots of grass. I have actually seen cool season prairie bloom, and cool soaking rains in August. My biggest message to bison owners is ‘don’t let your guard down – and … Read more

Southern Plains Pointers: July 2016

Southern Plains Pointers July 2016 What The Heck – Is – Going On Out There? (!) This is the time of year that we need to know stuff, as opposed to assuming stuff, about how our herd is weathering the dog days of summer in the southern plains.  The dynamics include ambient temperature, nutritional profile … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Mar 2016

Green-Up Green-up happens early in the southern plains bringing diversity in the available food for your herd that may not catch your attention. Many become selectable during fleeting successions, while other plants seem to dominate the landscape and by now; look like ‘emerald waves of gain’ [sorry] for those operations blessed with strong cool-season habitats. … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Feb 2016

Ramping up for Red-Dots While it’s true that bison are a wildlife species native to the southern plains, it’s also true that they are roaming the southern plains of the 21st Century. 300 years ago, they would have been grazing highly mineralized native forage and benefiting from a diverse plant community. Today’s average habitat tends … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Sept 2015

It’s Official! Texas and the southern plains are back in a drought. Just last spring, we were literally under water. Some regions are becoming severe while others are just damn dusty. Unfortunately, the drought is hitting southern plains bison herds at the worst time of year for health and reproduction. Some bison will be resilient … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers April 2015

Decisions – decisions – decisions… Managing a bison herd and their habitat is all about decisions. During the changing of seasons; some decisions are being made for you – but without you. Dealing with the decisions made for you, by ‘mom-nature’, are the proverbial curve-balls that take a little more experience to hit. In bison … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Jan 2015

Getting Over the ‘Hump’ Thanks to an unusual November and an atypical polar blast, the southern plains is experiencing less winter forage than we usually enjoy. Even the dedicated forage-croppers are unusually stressed for feed, causing the need for additional supplementation for bison health. This reality can vary widely within the southern plains depending on … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Oct 2014

Going in to November is all about planning and making the best decisions possible during the seasonal shift to winter operations. Once again, as with all other seasons, it’s all about feed. Personally I like to enhance the already bountiful cool season in the southern plains, by adding seed to my system to feed bison … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Sept 2014

Busy-busy-busy! Fall in the southern plains is the best and most productive time to be busy in preparation for the cool-season, which is our strongest growing season in the south. Whether you apply conventional agriculture methods or forward regenerative practices, getting some land care and habitat enhancement boxes checked will be to your advantage. Personally … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers June 2014

Just a word before I write about southern plains bison realities that are current, but less about ‘meanwhile-back-at-the-ranch’ stuff. That word is worms!  I will follow that by saying worms, worms, worms, worms, worms!  They are the enemy and the #1 production and reproduction challenge to bison of the southern plains. In much of the … Read more

Texas Bison Week 2014

Texas Bison Week Buffalo Drum News Always free at: The first week of May is Texas Bison Week since 2008 and through the year 2022 as a ceremonial proclamation. Debbie Northrup was first to initiate the proclamation to coincide with a Texas Bison Festival; after which the Texas Bison Association secured the proclamation until … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Nov 2013

  November is a very interesting month for Southern bison habitats and operations. The definite and oppressive announcement of winter upon the landscape changes everything forever: once again. It is during this time of year that we humans, be-we: ranchers, park superintendents, consumers, lawmakers or bison stewardship-collectives and consortiums, also change things for bison forever: … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Oct 2013

  This month I would like to shift the focus of my comments from managing herds, to managing destiny as a bison producer and/or bison-species restoration partner. You may have already read; its official that November 2nd is now National Bison Day! Woohooo – yeehaw and job well [done] right? From my perspective: wrong! The … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Aug 2013

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Aug 2013 The dog-days of summer are upon us in the southern plains and hopefully we have all our preparations for a strong breeding season in order and working. If you’re catching up, then exhaust solutions to herd management that do not_ require high levels of stress, handling or hauling. If … Read more

The Bison Industry

The Bison Industry                   Moth – or flame? We’ve all heard the saying, ‘Like a moth to a flame’. While discussing the need for multiple news sources about bison, my wife suggested calling a news letter ‘The Flame’. I thought it was a great concept, but as it occurs quite often: my mind went to … Read more